Nelson is keen for chance to perform

Michael Nelson says he's ready for anything Coventry can throw at him this afternoon – if he's given the chance to reclaim his place in the heart of City's back four.

Nelson has been out of action since damaging ankle ligaments in the final minute of the home win over Swansea in August.

It prompted manager Paul Lambert to bring in Leon Barnett on loan and then, last week, agree a permanent transfer.

But Barnett's suspension after last week's red card against Portsmouth looks certain to hand Nelson a way back which he's eager to take.

'We will find out tomorrow just before kick-off who is definitely playing,' said Nelson.

'We'll leave it until then to find out for certain, but it would be nice to be back in there.

'It was never going to be a case of, as soon as I was fit I was going to be back in, the way the lads were playing, especially the lads at the back. Barney and Ward (Elliott Ward) were churning out decent performances week in, week out.

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'It was never going to be easy, but you just have to be patient and keep training and your break will come – and hopefully it has now.'

Aidy Boothroyd's teams have never been afraid to launch the ball from deep and if they do aim for the head of Clive Platt, Nelson's ready.

'I've played against him a few times,' said Nelson. 'Obviously they are probably going to bang it up to him and look to get pieces off him, so that will suit me. Time will tell, they might get it down and knock it about. We've come up against both sorts of weapons this season and we are as good as anyone at matching teams, whatever they do.

'I don't mind having a battle but I think you see we can deal with anything that is thrown at us. We can play against the teams that will launch it up to a big man and we can deal with teams who will try and pass it around. It's all about them dealing with us at the end of the day.

'We have a rough idea of how they're going to play, we're prepared for it, but it is all about whether they are prepared for us. We will try and put our stamp on the game and dictate to them how the game is going to be played and if they can't deal with it hopefully we will come out on top.'

Nelson has just an hour of Tuesday's Norfolk Senior Cup win at Fakenham under his belt.

'Obviously it is nowhere near what I need to be playing to get the minutes, but whether it was away at Fakenham or another Championship reserve team or something like that, you are never going to be able to replicate a full-on Championship game unless you are playing in one,' he said. 'Hopefully all the training I have done with the physios since I've been fit and back with the squad has prepared me well enough for the weekend.'

The bonus is that if Nelson plays well, there is plenty of evidence to suggest Barnett has a job on his hands to win back his place.

'The gaffer is honest,' he said. 'If you are playing well he will leave you in there, that's what he's like. It doesn't matter how old or how young you are, how long you've been out. If you come in and perform he is honest enough to leave you in there. That's a good thing you can have in the back of your mind. If you do perform there is every chance you are going to be staying in the team.'